Category The Past

And All the Boys Sing Mahler Eight

While in Wichita last week, I mentioned my interest in digging up more information on the boys choir in which I participated when I was about ten years old to my mother.  So on Christmas morning we took a few minutes to go hunting through our family ephemera for whatever we could find.  Though we […]

Juice Newton Live in Haysville

I have not seen many concerts.  It’s never been a priority for me, and I’ve written here before about a lack of initiative in seeking out live music.  That’s starting to change somewhat, but as far as pop acts go the list of folks I’ve seen live is extremely short.  All the same, about 20 […]

Puff the Magic Dragon

I don’t know much about the folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary, except to know that they were part of the counterculture of the 1960s and they recorded Puff the Magic Dragon.  My dad loved “oldies,” and it’s the genre with which our household was the most familiar as I was growing up. When I […]

The Nutcracker

It was a normal Monday off for me yesterday, so I took the opportunity to put up our Christmas tree.  Doing so as a child, we always put on Christmas music and made it a family affair – even so, I think we managed, in our incredibly musical household that loved Christmas more than just […]

Greats Provide Access to the Past

Sunday night Michael and I watched a 2013 episode of Live from Lincoln Center on Youtube – the episode featured a chamber music setting for a tribute to Mendelsohn, the great composer.  Playing for us were none other than Emanuel Ax on the piano, Yo Yo Ma on the cello, and Izhak Perlman on the […]

The Shriner, a Drummer

Long ago I worked for a Shriner.  We were involved in law enforcement – private contractors, if you will, operating out of the Shriner’s home basement office.  I was the office grunt for the mercenary operation; we provided electronic monitoring to people who had some resources and who gamed the system well enough to avoid […]


I started re-reading The Black Swan yesterday, a 2007 book by Nassim Taleb (updated in 2012 after the events of 9/11).  The book is brilliant; it’s an exposition on the problems, beauty, and impact of the highly improbable.  Taleb is not exploring improbability in the absurd but brilliant way that Douglas Adams did with the […]